Smoke and pollutants from Canadian forest fires were transported over the northeastern United States in July 2002. Lidar observations at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center show the smoke from these fires arriving in an elevated plume that was subsequently transported to the surface. Trajectory and three-dimensional model calculations confirm the origin of the smoke and show that it mixed to the surface after it was intercepted by the turbulent planetary boundary layer. Modeled smoke optical properties agreed well with aircraft and remote sensing observations provided coagulation of smoke particles was accounted for in the model. Our results have important implications for the long-range transport of pollutants and their subsequent entrainment to the surface, as well as the evolving optical properties of smoke from boreal forest fires.